BERWYN HEIGHTS, MD. In a week that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community is making history, a new mobile app called Quist became available to record and share that past and present. The app has been met with enthusiasm from around the world, with downloads to 6,000 smartphones and tablets in 120 countries. The app is free for both iOS and Android.
"I’m thrilled with the overwhelmingly positive response," says the creator of the project, Sarah Prager, 26. After feature articles on the Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Baltimore Sun, and other major news outlets, Quist became one of the top 25 free reference apps downloaded in the iTunes App Store for two days. Quist has been called "important" by the It Gets Better Project, "fascinating" by 148apps, "great" by iOSnoops, "sleek" by Autostraddle, and "very cool" by One More Lesbian. It is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars in both app stores.
Marriage equality goes into effect for two U.S. states today and the Pope made historic statements on Monday. These are the types of events found in the Quist mobile app. Events range from LGBTQ individuals’ contributions to the arts and sciences, watershed moments in the LGBTQ liberation movements, milestones of the HIV epidemic, specific love stories from the last several hundred years, significant court cases and executions, and worldwide "firsts" from the first transgender member of parliament’s election to the first time a same-sex wedding aired on a sitcom. Examples of stories in the app can be found at Quist’s website.
A Baltimore-based firm, Natural Fusion, did the coding and design of the app, while a team of volunteers from Massachusetts to Belgium collected the historical content. There are currently over 750 historical events in the app and new events are being added every day. Quist’s research team aims to curate 1,000 events by October 2013, which is LGBT History Month in the United States. Those interested in volunteering can email email@example.com.
Quist’s mission is to educate the world about the roots of the LGBTQ community, make LGBTQ history more engaging and relevant, let LGBTQ youth know that others have shared their struggle, and promote organizations that make LGBTQ history today and every day. The project’s expenses are supported by LGBT-friendly businesses advertising in the app and fans’ donations.